A Gorgeous Autumn Wedding At Elmers Court & Christchurch Priory

This is the story of Tiffany & David’s Elmers Court wedding photographs.

You may remember Tiffany and David (and Bailey) from their Kingston Lacy engagement photos. They have to be one of the most warm and caring couples we have ever worked with. This shone through in every aspect of their Elmers Court wedding photographs.

We can’t quite believe that it has been a decade since we last shot a wedding at Elmers Court Hotel in The New Forest.

Elmers Court Hotel is a stunning wedding venue that combines history, elegance, and natural beauty. The 19th-century manor house in Lymington is set within 23 acres of landscaped gardens and woodland. We remember well the spectacular views overlooking the Solent Coast and the Isle of Wight.

sunset bride groom photograph Elmers Court wedding venue

Elmers Court Hotel Wedding Morning Photographs

As with their engagement shoot, we started the wedding day arriving in a torrent of rain. Again, we were prepared for all weathers and knew the sun would soon be popping out to play for their Elmers Court wedding photographs.

Upon our arrival, the friendly staff at Elmers Court could not do enough to help. We were treated to a guided tour of the wedding locations and room setups. Here many wedding details were waiting to be photographed

Bridal Preparation Photographs At Elmers Court Hotel

Our eyes and cameras warmed up we found Tiffany and the bridal party busy getting ready for the day ahead in a deluxe family room. This felt more like a private lodge overlooking the manor house.

Tiffany had shown her caring side from the off. She was more concerned with making sure everyone was well fed and watered than her hair styling!

In the Room next door, I found Tiffany’s sister applying makeup next to her stunning wedding dress and Embassy wedding shoes.

maid of honour wedding makeup white detailed wedding dress
Amanda the makeup artist worked with Tiff’s mum, sat in a beam of concentrated sunlight. Meanwhile, Laura worked on Tiffany’s hair. The girls were so very relaxed and a happy calm had descended upon the warm room.

From the elevated position, the bright roof windows allowed us to see the grey clouds disappearing. The sun and blue sky soon replaced them. Murray departed to find David and his groomsmen and Tiffany’s family arrived.

happy smiling bride photographed during wedding hair styling
wedding hair styling hairspray flash photograph bridal preparations

A Wonderful Family Affair

I have never seen quite so many family members and children join a bride on her wedding morning. Popping in and out, running chores, and sorting out children seemed to be the order of play. The organisation of which was an absolute testament to Tiff’s close family. We know very well how tricky it can be getting small children to get ready on a wedding morning. Furthermore, the inclusion of the kids demonstrated Tiffany’s love for her family of all ages. I soon realised that the children would be playing a significant role in the rest of the wedding day.
pageboy finds safe place under table during busy wedding morning preparations
bride portrait photograph during bridal perparations Elmers Court Hotel
black white wedding photograph bride makeup
funny wedding photo page boy hiding behind lamp pole
bridesmaid helped lipstick wedding morning preparation photograph

Wedding morning fizz was popped. I utilised the full-length mirror and a variety of angles to capture the proceedings. This  allowed me to unobtrusively shoot the wedding morning in the confined space.

Gorgeous wedding flowers from Poppies Florists with highlights of red and blue arrived. Tiffany’s wedding dress was prepared for donning. It glowed in sunbeams, highlighting its intricate lace detailing.

multi coloured wedding flower bouquet photographed beam sunlight

As the flower girls and page boys were helped into their finery Tiffany’s sister emerged wearing her stunning blue maid of honour dress.

A Wonderful Wedding Suprise

Even after working at over 400 weddings, we are constantly surprised. Something we’ve never seen before then occurred. As another testament to the caring nature of the morning, both the makeup artist and hairdresser helped Mum get Tiffany into her dress! All under the watchful eye of her sister.

black white documentary wedding photograph reflection bridesmaid
glowing wedding dress photographed during bridal preparations
bride silhouette wedding dress veil wedding morning
documentary wedding photo bride putting on wedding dress
maid of honour blue dress watches bride putting on wedding dress
black white wedding photograph bride weddign dress reflected mirror
bridesmaid with multicoloured wedding bouquet looks out of bright window morning preparations

Tiffany’s father arrived. He spent a little time with his daughter before departing for a walk around the hotel grounds. Outside the Elmers Court, the guests gathered before leaving for Christchurch Priory.

A stunning 1927 Rolls-Royce Royale Convertible from Superwed Cars awaited Tiffany and her father. To capture the lovely transitional moments I joined the journey across the New Forest. In high spirits, we drove through some of the heaviest rain ever seen on a wedding morning.

As if my magic the clouds parted as we arrived in Christchurch. Glimpses of the magnificent priory could be seen several minutes before arrival.

bride white wedding dress leaves Elmers Court wedding morning venue
father walks bride across giant chess board Elmers Court wedding
bride white wedding dress father photographed Elmers Court wedding venue
pageboy wearing blue wedding suit Elmers Court wedding venue
classic wedding car bride leaves Elmers Court wedding venue
black white bride groom father back classic wedding car
christchurch priory wedding venue photographed from classic wedding car

Wedding Morning Groom Preparation Photographs

Meanwhile, Murray was busy telling a different story. He joined David and his best man at home for the final stages of their wedding preparation. An advantage of Tiffany and David hiring a team of two photographers.

Surrounded by heartwarming photographs and Star Wars memorabilia they donned their wedding attire. Both chaps were in good spirits as they put on their maroon ties and blue three-piece suits. Much in the same method as myself, Murray stayed out of the way. Capturing reflections in the full-length mirrored wardrobes.

A last buttonhole and wedding ring check and they were ready to leave for their next job. Greeting the arriving guests at Christchurch Priory.

documentary groom preparation photographs tying red ties in mirror
documentary wedding photograph bestman carrying weddign suits

Christchurch Priory Wedding Ceremony Photographs

Christchurch Priory is a former monastery dating back to the 11th Century. It boasts the longest nave in England. It is one of the largest and most majestic religious wedding venues in Dorset. We could spend days here photographing the stunning medieval architecture alone. It is without a doubt a jaw-dropping location for a wedding ceremony.

David and his best man waited patiently as the guests seated themselves. The wedding car arrived outside. Tiffany’s face beamed with a huge smile as she was led down the aisle by her bridesmaids, arm in arm with her father.

father walks bride down aisle christchurch priory wedding photograph
The wedding guests were next treated to a truly heart-warming wedding ceremony. The vows, readings, and sermons tied together themes of love, marriage, and companionship. The stone walls, vaulted ceilings, and wooden floors created a warm and reverberant ambience.
black white bride groom christchurch priory wedding ceremony
father hands over bride christchurch priory wedding ceremony
christchurch priory wedding ceremony photo

Wedding Photographs Outside Christchurch Priory

After their first kiss and register signing the now ecstatic couple exited the church out into ethereal storm lighting. With one eye on the clouds, we quickly organised a confetti exit.

Bailey and his smaller friend arrived to greet the newlyweds. A moment we knew everyone was looking forward to. Bailey did not disappoint, he clearly let everyone know how happy he was that his mum and dad had just married.

With a drop in temperature and light levels, we efficiently gathered formal groups under a giant archway. Returning guests to the dry warm comfort of the classic Routemaster London bus.

bride white wedding dress leaves christchurch priory wedding
bride groom dog christchurch priory wedding

We then had to make a judgment call. We had planned for couple shots around the grounds and features outside the priory. Yet my early warning rain radar (lack of hair) detected incoming showers so we opted for indoor shots.

As Murray captured the departing guests and furry friends Tiffany, David and I took a walk around the gorgeous building. We could hear the rain hitting the flagstones outside. I allowed the architecture, leading lines, archways, and shafting light to guide my eye. Tiffany and David were so happy and relaxed I’m not sure they realised I was taking their photographs!

christchurch priory wedding photograph bride groom
christchurch priory wedding couple

Elmers Court Wedding Photographs

Back at Elmers Court, the happy couple finished off their couple photographs on the Routemaster. After all, how often do you get an opportunity like that?!
red routemaster london bus outside Elmers Court wedding venue
bride groom hugging back of routemaster london bus

We were ever so happy to see Trevor English greeting guests at the hotel. We know very well from experience the difference having a professional master of ceremonies can make to a wedding day. The guests settled into a drinks reception in the wood-panelled Tudor Music Room.

In our absence, The Ballroom setup had been finished. Arcade games from Perfect Day Wedding Services had been installed in a side room. The wedding team at Elmers Court were amazing. Attentive and professional, whizzing about almost unseen like a well-oiled machine.

With a lucky break in the weather, we quickly gathered and photographed the remaining formal groups in the garden. On their departure, we were left with just the happy couple. Who took five minutes to appreciate a little fresh air and peace together.

Wedding Breakfast Photos At Elmers Court Hotel

Trevor made the call for the wedding breakfast. Tiffany and David were welcomed into the Ballroom with a standing ovation. What followed could be described as three scrumptious courses with rising levels of happy chatter and laughter.

Even during wedding breakfast Murray and I are constantly working. We develop creative ideas and refine our plans for what follows with the Elmers Court weddin gphotographs. With an eye on a break in the clouds, we risked a trip down the lawns towards the Solent, testing ground beneath our feet. The sunset suddenly broke through. And we knew we only had a very limited amount of time before it disappeared. Fortunately, we had prepared Tiffany and David for such an eventuality. They were more than happy to join us in the low amber light at the water’s edge for some intimate couple photos. Again they used it as a time for enjoying fresh air in each other’s company (as well as burning off some of the tasty deserts!).

bride groom silhouette Elmers Court sunset wedding photographs
christchurch priory wedding photographs bride groom
Back in the warmth of the Hotel Trevor introduced the wedding speeches. Tiffany’s father, David and The Best Man entertained all. They kept the stories all above board with humorous and entertaining delivery.
bride reacts to wedding speeches at Elmers Court Hotel

Elmers Court Hotel Wedding Evening Photographs

After cutting the cake guests joined the arriving evening guests at the bar. They also enjoyed the retro arcade games.
flower girl plays retro arcade game wedding reception

The ever-efficient wedding team turned the Ballroom around in record time. Dan the wedding DJ from Hampshire Event DJ’s arrived – keen to set up his equipment in the fireplace. Having earmarked the space for a silhouette couple shot earlier in the day we sprang into action. We set up for and captured the couple in place all within one minute of the top table being cleared away.

Bride groom silhouette fireplace at Elmers Court Hotel wedding venue
Dan promptly set up his rig and disco lighting. This was greatly appreciated by the smaller wedding guests. They were straight onto the dancefloor as soon as the music started. This is often a great opportunity for us to test our lighting and camera setup ready for the first dance.
small children dancing wedding disco photo
As a twist on tradition, Tiffany and her father took to the floor first. The father of the bride handing her off to David (much as he did in church earlier in the day). The symbolism was not lost on the onlooking loved ones.

Wedding guests young and old joined the happy couple on the dancefloor. It was heart-warming to see so many different generations showing off their dance moves. All under the colourful disco lighting.

bride groom first dance Elmers Court wedding photographs
wedding dancing at Elmers Court wedding venue
blad male wedding guest receives kiss on head
bride groom dancing Elmers Court wedding photographs
maid of honour blue dress dancing under blue disco lights

Further Evening Entertainment

Next door, behind the arcade games a giant cheese tower had been set up by Amanda from Elmsleigh Cakes. We could tell that David was keen to investigate. Utilising the powers of a photography duo we photographed a second ‘cake’ cutting from both inside and outside the hotel.

You may expect the wedding story to end there. But never let it be said that Tiffany and David would allow their guests to go without entertainment. Giant sparklers were distributed amongst the guests. Who then gathered around the happy couple merrily waving their pyrotechnics in the cool night air.

In addition, large firepits were lit. The wedding then enjoyed cooking marshmallows and happy chatter over the flames.

bride groom cuttign cheese tower cake Elmers Court wedding venue photographed through window
wedding guests reaction bride cutting cheese tower cake
wedding cheese tower cake photographed through window
wedding guest photo playing retro arcade game rampage
wedding sparklers photograph Elmers Court wedding venue
firepit marshmallows Elmers Court wedding evening photos
We left the wedding as guests either danced the night away, played video games, or enjoyed socialising around the firepits. They were so well entertained and cared for.

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